University of Notre Dame

 

Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Oriental and Middle Eastern Manuscripts

Tibetan script, from a passage of Buddhist scripture "Rite of Praying for Long LIfe."
Tibetan script, from a passage of Buddhist scripture "Rite of Praying for Long Life."

The Department of Special Collections does not have a formal collection of Oriental or Middle Eastern manuscripts, nevertheless a few examples of manuscript writing from there regions have been donated to the University Libraries over the years.

These are housed among our manuscript collections and include:


Qu'ran

For more information on the three nineteenth century manuscripts of the Qu'ran, please write to the Department of Special Collections.


Coptic Psalter

A Coptic manuscript containing 151 Psalms of David (see A. Rahlfs, Septuaginta, 5th ed., vol. 2, p. 163), 15 biblical canticles (see Rahlfs, under "Odes"), the Song of Solomon and several poetical praises, lamentations and hymns to the Virgin Mary.

Description:

166 folios on parchment; text written in Ge'ez, the classical language of Ethiopia, in one column with 21-22 lines per page; bound in thick wood boards, the front outside cover inscribed with a Greek cross. For further description, see James A. Corbett, A Catalogue of the Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts of the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, 1978), s.v. Ms. 38).

Date:

18th century?

Origin:

Bengal

Size:

215 x 195 mm

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Palm Leaf Manuscripts

A palm leaf tablet making reference to the birth of a child. (Gift of Bishop Peter Hurth, C.S.C. of Dacca, Bengal)

Description:

7 lines of Pali text inscribed on one side of a palm leaf. Tablet is composed of 5 leaves sewn together along the margins of the text.

Date:

19th century

Origin:

Bengal

Size:

50 x 145 mm

From the verso:

"Kindly (?) D...y(?) him ...? on the 8th December 1887 on Thursday"

"An astrological tablet in reference to the birth of a child given by the Phongyies (priests) on the occasion of the birth of a child. The language is Pali sacred language of a Buddhist."


A palm leaf manuscript on tribal medicine. (Gift of Chamindra Dassanuyke to Fr. Theodore Hesburgh)

Description:

8 lines of text inscribed on 2 sides of palm leaf sections, numbering about 80 in total, held together by two woven cotton cords inserted through holes in the leaves and two outer teak boards.

Date:

16th or 17th century?

Origin:

monastery in Sri Lanka

Size:

450 x 55 mm, 41 mm thickness

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Tibetan Buddhist Fragment

Tibetan manuscript, a passage from Buddhist scripture, "Rite of Praying for Long Life" (Gift of Rev. Charles L. Meeus, Kungming, China)

Description:

5 lines of Tibetan script on 2 sides of oblong paper. Black ink, with two words on reverse in brownish red ink, margin rulings also in brownish red ink. Text contains many abbreviations. Fold marks indicate document was once folded into thirds.

Date:

unknown

Origin:

unknown

Size:

75 x 372 mm

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Japanese Scrolls

Certificate regarding secrets of martial arts awarded to a student warrior, Okamoto Yoshiteru by his teacher, Ogino Moto-no-shin. (Gift of Boleslaw B. Szczesniak)

Description:

A paper scroll.

Date:

14th era of Meiji (19th century)

Origin:

unknown

Size:

48 x 18 cm


Ogino Moto-no-shin (author). Explanation of the spiritual mentality of the Japanese warrior and the secret art of Jujitsu, the traditional martial art of Japan. (Gift of Boleslaw B. Szczesniak)

Description:

A paper scroll with green woven silk casing and tie thread.

Date:

14th era of Meiji (19th century)

Origin:

unknown

Size:

290 x 18 cm

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